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The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Charles Olson

Overview

Since the late 1950s Stan Brakhage has been in the forefront of independent filmmaking. His body of work-some seventy hours-is one of the largest of any filmmaker in the history of cinema, and one of the most diverse. Probably the most widely quoted experimental filmmaker in history, his films typify the independent cinema.

Until now, despite well-deserved acclaim, there has been no comprehensive study of Brakhage's oeuvre. The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition ...

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Overview

Since the late 1950s Stan Brakhage has been in the forefront of independent filmmaking. His body of work-some seventy hours-is one of the largest of any filmmaker in the history of cinema, and one of the most diverse. Probably the most widely quoted experimental filmmaker in history, his films typify the independent cinema.

Until now, despite well-deserved acclaim, there has been no comprehensive study of Brakhage's oeuvre. The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition fills this void. R. Bruce Elder delineates the aesthetic parallels between Brakhage's films and a broad spectrum of American art from the 1920s through the 1960s. Elder demonstrates the symmetry between Brakhage's films and the writings of William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg and Michael McClure. Concentrating especially on Brakhage's relation to the work and the ideas of Charles Olson, he shows how thoroughly, through Olson, Brakhage has assimilated the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead.

This book is certain to stir the passions of those interested in artistic critique and interpretation in its broadest terms.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A study of the work of an independent, experimental filmmaker, delineating the aesthetic parallels between Brakhage's films and a broad spectrum of American art from the 1920s through the 1960s. Demonstrates the symmetry between Brakhage's films and the writings of William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg, and Michael McClure, and concentrates especially on his relation to the work of Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead. Includes a detailed, 20-page glossary. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780889202757
  • Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
  • Publication date: 1/7/1999
  • Pages: 584
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Filmmaker, author and critic, R. Bruce Elder inspires and enjoys debate. His films have been exhibited internationally and his polemical piece, “The Cinema We Need”, remains one of the most discussed pieces of writing on Canadian film. Elder has also produced a forty-two-hour film cycle entitled The Book of All the Dead. In 2007, R. Bruce Elder received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

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Table of Contents

With Gratitude
Acknowledgments
Preface 1
Ch. 1 Four for America: Williams, Pound, Stein, Brakhage 45
Styles of English Metre 45
Meaning and Personal Being: Pound and Brakhage 64
The Seachange: Or, How Pound Came "To Break the Pentameter" 69
Bergson, Hulme, Pound, and Brakhage on the Body and Energy 75
Experience as Energy: A Pattern for Thinking 100
First-Person Singular: Bergson, Hulme, and Brakhage on the Primacy of Individuality 146
Between Self and World: The Image in Hulme, Williams, Brakhage 157
Writing = Composing Sound's Energies, Filmmaking = Composing Light's Energies: Gertrude Stein and Stan Brakhage's Conceptions of Their Media 212
Digressive Interpolation: The Persistence of Emerson's Vision in Stein's Writing and Brakhage's Filmmaking 228
Out of Stein: A Theory of Meaning for Stan Brakhage's Films 240
The Paradox of a Perlocutionary Semantics: Brakhage and Stein on Artistic Meaning 261
The Romanticism of Brakhage's Conception of Meaning 295
Ch. 2 The Conception of the Body in Open Form Poetics and Its Influence on Stan Brakhage's Filmmaking 309
D. H. Lawrence and the Poetics of Energy 309
Two Crucial Influences on Embodied Poetics: A. N. Whitehead and Maurice Merleau-Ponty 313
A. N. Whitehead's Project: Reconciling Permanence and Flux 325
Olson's Energetics of Embodied Existence 348
Michael McClure's Poetics: The Body Is an Organism. The Universe Is an Organism. A Poem Embodies an Aspect of the Universe's Evolving Form 423
Allen Ginsberg: The Breath, the Voice, and the Poem 432
Action Painting as Performance 442
Glossary 453
Notes 473
Selected Bibliography 533
Stan Brakhage Filmography 545
Index 555
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